Are you an engineer? Not been a voracious reader? Better be, if you really want magic to happen to you in CAT!
VARC is the key to succeed in CAT! I have been analyzing CAT and facilitating students since 1990! Sure, I know a little about CAT and VARC…
VARC is the only section where you can maximise. Target attempting all. None can do in any other section in any test…. But toppers will do in VARC and every one can, if one wants to, and one works assiduously.
It is all about taking keen interest in reading, understanding, comprehending, analysing….responding…
Is there anything you need to take to the exam, except keenness to read? Nothing…..
By reading, reading, reading every kind of subject, over the time you will be comfortable with the vocabulary, terms and language constructs of every subject.
You will have enough knowledge in your amazing store house call brain, about every subject that appears on CAT, to build the bridge between existing and the new information thrown at you, to quickly comprehend and integrate with the existing. That will help you to increase speed in reading and accuracy too.
You still have 60 days. Be hungry. Be aggressive. Target attempting all in VARC, with an accuracy of at least 80%…
You will see your scores in other sections too improve as reading speed and comprehension quickens, regression reduces drastically as you start enjoying, focus will also increase.
Approach VARC with a larger purpose, and not that you ‘have’ to, because CAT has RC and you do not have any choice.
Reading gives insights into the world, into variety of subjects, nations, people, characters……The knowledge that you gather can not only improve your interactions, but also impact your performance in the Interviews, immediately after CAT. First you have to score high in all sections including VARC.
Yes, accuracy is important, but, one must understand that VARC is the key to succeeding in CAT. It is the pole in the hand of pole vaulter that can vault you into the best of IIM. Be aggressive, not defensive…
READ READ READ every possible subject…..Read for life, not just for CAT..
A. Read from websites like Aeon.com
B. Read editorials and opinion pages from HINDU/Express etc
C. Read every article against time. Note down time taken.
Get comfortable with every kind of subject…
….. From Aeon…
Arts and Aesthetics
Science and Technology
Every subject has its own language and vocabulary. If you take your mother tongue, the language that you have heard, spoken, read and wrote in, I am sure you will not be able to understand many a words or text, if I give you book by a noted author or poet. Imagine a language you have been most comfortable with.
And here, you hardly read a couple of passages of a genre, and expect to be a master and get all correct ! How will you?
The more you read, greater will be your comfort and understanding. Talk only after reading at least 25-30 passages / articles of a particular genre, before even uttering a word. Read proactively, purposefully to be acquainted with the subject, its language and vocabulary.
Pick 3 genre every week, finish your 30 passages to be comfortable in that week. In four weeks you would become in every genre of significance for CAT.
That will help you read faster and understand easily, when you encounter more passages from the subject..
Simply said, read, read and read…..
I will guarantee you your scores in 4 weeks time !! 🙂
Conscious and Sub-Conscious minds
Let me take the example of cycling or driving. When you first learnt either, you struggled, some one had to hold you or facilitate you. You might have even fallen a few times. In a few days, you got the hang of the basics, whether balancing or A B C of driving…
If you have to go to a new place, B from home A, for the first time you would have struggled, even with the Google Map, which will tell you that you have arrived, but still discovered that you are in an adjacent lane. The more you go from B to A and A to B, you will realize the subtleties of the route; the lane you should be at a particular signal, the by-lane that you should take at a particular junction etc… They way you drive gets refined. Then, soon in a few weeks, it so happens that you reach the destination, then you wonder how did you reach. You negotiated the traffic, the signals, were lost somewhere else, even singing a song and your subconscious mind delivers you to your destination, safely and securely.
If your mind is capable of delivering you negotiating the worst of the traffic, safely and securely, to your desired destination, will the subconscious mind not delivery you outstanding outcomes in a Reading Comprehension passage, sitting at a table in the cool environment? It will. But you need to work consciously for a week or two, without asking any questions, believing in what you are doing. Hope you believe in your subconscious mind.
Dynamics of reading
A. Faster you read, greater is the focus and concentration, higher the retention as the subconscious mind gathers a lot. Always read at a speed, that is a little higher than your comfort speed, in a particular genre. Slowly, the comfort increases and the speed also increases. and it will keep moving to the next level.
B. Never regress. As you know, every paragraph talks about only one point. Even if a sentence or two you missed understanding, does not matter in the bigger scheme of things, as rest of the sentences in that particular paragraph, and the entire passage will help you fill the gap that you missed. Make sure you just go ahead, not back and forth.
C. In case the genre / passage is tougher, you would much better off and greater the understanding, if you read the passage two times, rather than going back and forth.
D. While answering the questions for a particular passage, most of the times you do eliminate two choices, and struggle to pick one from the rest two. You would have realized that the sub-conscious mind has already picked the answer, but the conscious mind sows a seed of doubt and asks you to go back and read the passage again. NEVER EVER DO. Believe in your sub-conscious mind and mark the first one that appeals to it and keep moving.
E. Make sure you attempt all the passages and as many questions as you can in VARC section. Believe in yourself, in your sub-conscious mind. You are bound to crack it.
Create a box file with 500 pages, punched
Categorise the file by the subjects. Assign a few pages for each.
After reading every article, quickly recal and write all critical points in the respective subject section of the above file…
If you read a couple of hours every day, across a variety of subjects, in 6-8 weeks, your scores will start improving dramatically…You will start relishing the preparation for CAT, as your improving scores will inspire you to push your boundaries further…
I have been interacting with, interviewed many aspirants who have cracked CAT in the last couple of years and are now at top IIMs. In most of the interviews, Gejo’s VARC1000 pops out as the magic wand that they religiously used to break open the IIM doors. Kindly have a look at it, if you are struggling with VARC, and have not looked at it yet.
Master VARC. Bell the CAT. Make sure you are among the best IIMs.